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CMS remained unbeaten with two close wins (photo by Caelyn Smith)
CMS remained unbeaten with two close wins (photo by Caelyn Smith)

Top-Ranked CMS Volleyball Remains Unbeaten with 3-1 Wins over Trinity, Emory

ATLANTA, Ga. - The top-ranked CMS women's volleyball team dropped its first two sets of the 2022 campaign, but recovered to take 3-1 wins over both No. 2 Trinity and No. 14 Emory, the tournament host, on the second day of the East-West Battle.

With the wins, CMS moves to 7-0 on the year, with five of the wins against teams that are currently nationally ranked (NYU, Babson, Johns Hopkins, Trinity and Emory). Jenna Holmes was named the Tournament MVP and was joined on the All-Tournament team by Dede Carranza

Set scores were 22-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-20 against Trinity and 25-18, 25-16, 23-25, 28-26 against Emory. CMS swept the same two opponents last year on the same day at the East-West Battle, hosted by Cal Lutheran, when Trinity was ranked No. 1 and Emory No. 2. This year, the Athenas came in as the top-ranked team and had to fight off a challenge from No. 2 Trinity (which lost to Emory on Friday). 

The first set against Trinity was the first set defeat for the Athenas of the year, but the Athenas were able to come back and level the match at 1-1 with a 25-20 win in the second set. The third set proved to be pivotal as the Tigers earned a set point at 24-23, but Holmes was able to answer with a kill to tie it 24-24. Audrey Sawyer followed with ace, and Holmes put down a kill on set point to give CMS the 2-1 lead. 

The fourth set was tied 17-17, before Sawyer had another ace in a 3-0 run. After Trinity closed to within 21-19, Summer Ellis and Holmes had two straight kills, and a Holmes ace finished off the win. 

Holmes had 17 kills and a season-high 21 digs for the Athenas. Brooke McKee had a solid effort with 12 kills, and Izzy Sakoda chipped in with 12 as well. Carranza had 26 digs, McKee and Sawyer each had five blocks, and Georgia McGovern (28) and Spencer Hagenbuch (25) combined for 53 assists. 

The nightcap saw CMS roar out to a quick 2-0 lead as it appeared it would end the tournament in dominant fashion. Emory, though, responded on its home court with a 25-23 win in the third, and fought off three match points to tie the score 24-24 in the fourth. The Eagles then went ahead 25-24 before Brenna Bell answered with a kill, and Holmes answered another set point to tie it 26-26. Jackie Jones then gave CMS its fourth match point, and Sawyer finished it with a kill, as Hagenbuch assisted on the final three CMS points. 

Bell had a spectacular effort with 16 kills in 23 attempts, hitting .609, while Holmes was in double figures for the seventh straight match with 12, and adding 11 digs for her sixth double-double. Jackie Jones added 11 kills, Sawyer had eight in 13 attempts, and Ellis had eight in 18 attempts without an error. Carranza came up with 21 more digs defensively, Sawyer had five blocks, and McGovern (26) and Hagenbuch (22) combined for 48 assists. 

CMS will be back in action next weekend at the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational in Thousand Oaks, facing UC Santa Cruz, Endicott, and another nationally ranked team in Colorado College.